How To Get Sunscreen Out Of Baby Hair (Most Effective Solution)

How To Get Sunscreen Out Of Baby Hair

Article by Macy Tollefson – doula, breastfeeding specialist & prenatal yoga teacher

Children rubbing sunscreen into their hair may start off as a cute, funny moment, but it can quickly turn frustrating when you realize that baby shampoo isn’t enough to get it out.

Zinc oxide is a great, active ingredient that’s used in clean baby sunscreen, to protect kids from the sun. It’s oil soluble (water resistant) and hard to rub off. This means it stays put even in the hot summer sun, but makes it tricky when you want to quickly get it off.

Even if you find yourself with a kid who’s hair is completely white from an entire tube of sunscreen – don’t panic! I know it can be a challenge to remove zinc sunscreen, but rest assured you don’t need a special sunscreen cleanser or expensive skincare products to get the SPF cream out.

Keep reading to hear my tips on how to get sunblock out of kids hair.

This article is not a substitute for medical advice.

How Do You Get Zinc Oxide Sunscreen Out Of Hair?

Mineral sunscreen is designed to stick to the skin and reflect the harmful sun UVS rays, blocking them from entering your body. They tend to be thicker than chemical sunscreens (which absorb INTO your skin), and therefore are harder to simply wash off.

It’s important to note that mineral sunscreens are MUCH safer to use on kids than chemical blockers, so don’t let it’s stickiness deter you from using them!

It’s a good idea to wash off any sunscreen after kids have been in the sun, to avoid blocking pores that can lead to painful red bumps. If you find that sunscreen doesn’t come out of their hair with regular shampoo, here are some suggestions that won’t leave their hair greasy!

Can I Use Normal Makeup Remover To Remove Sunscreen Off A Baby?

One of the best ways to remove stubborn zinc sunscreen from your baby’s hair is by oil cleansing1. Grab some baby-safe oil (think: coconut oil, jojoba oil, or olive oil) and pour a little into your hands. Lather it into your baby’s hair and let it sit on their scalp for a couple of minutes. Next, use some warm water and baby shampoo to rinse the oil and sunscreen out.

Tip: If you need to get thick sunscreen off of their body, you can also use the oil cleansing method, just swap the shampoo for a natural body wash. Be careful, as oil can make your baby very slippery!

How Do You Get Sunscreen Off A Baby’s Head?

If you don’t have good oil, some mothers have suggested that conditioner or an oil based cleanser can also help to loosen up the sunscreen. Just like oil cleansing, you allow it to sit on their hair, then follow up with some shampoo to wash it all away.

Other mothers find that simply using natural baby wipes to remove sunscreen on their body or hair works great!

If you look on any parent forums, you’ll see many mothers swear by a vinegar rinse or even Dawn dish soap to get sunscreen off their kids. While these may be effective in theory, I would recommend double cleansing with oil and clarifying shampoo multiple times before attempting either of these techniques.

If you are going to use a vinegar rinse, be VERY careful. Vinegar can be extremely irritating on the skin, and can burn their eyes if it gets in. Dilute the vinegar with water and apply while tilting your baby’s head back, to avoid getting it on their face.

Dawn dish soap may also seem innocent to wash your kids with, but it can be very irritating for their sensitive skin! Perhaps it would be ok to mix a little bit into the shampoo or water if you were in a pinch, but I wouldn’t recommend regular use. The bottom line is there are much better (and safer!) options to use on kids.

If you’re concerned about getting sunscreen in your baby’s hair, you could skip it entirely and instead protect them from the sun with a hat!

PRO TIP: It may also happen that your little one will rub the sunscreen in their eyes. Check out my article to see my recommendations for quick relief.

Can I Use Normal Makeup Remover To Remove Sunscreen Off A Baby?

Many popular makeup removers are full of harsh chemicals, fragrances and preservatives that are irritating to both adult and kid skin. Makeup wipes in particular can be pretty nasty- not to mention terrible for the environment2!

It’s best to avoid using typical makeup remover these on your children, however there are some exceptions.

How Do You Get Sunscreen Off A Baby's Head?

Micellar water is a popular no-rinse cleanser that is effective at removing even the most stubborn waterproof makeup, dirt and oil. The best part? It’s safe and gentle enough to use on your baby’s skin3!

It turns out that the oils and surfactants in micellar water is an effective way to remove zinc sunscreen off of skin or out of hair. Simply pour some on a cotton pad or washcloth, and gently rub it over their entire head.

While washing out micellar water is not required, it may be helpful in removing the excess sunscreen left in their hair, which could make it appear greasy.

Article By Macy Tollefson

Macy Tollefson is a full spectrum doula, breastfeeding specialist and prenatal yoga teacher. She is passionate about guiding the modern mama on her journey through the beautiful (and wild) transformation of pregnancy, birth and postpartum. Macy envisions a world where every mother has access to the resources she needs, and follows her intuition to make the best decisions about what is right for her and her baby.

The purpose of this article is informative. It’s not a substitute for professional medical advice or medical care. Remember: safety first! Consult your doctor/pediatrician in case of any doubts. The author of this article does not accept any responsibility for any liability, loss or risk, personal or otherwise, incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, from any information or advice contained here.


About Me - Zooey BarnettHello Moms! I am Zooey. I am a wife and a mother of three amazing kids: almost 5-year-old Haley and 2-year-old twins Jesse and Matthew. I am a jogger, cooker and blogger.

If you have a question or a comment, do not hesitate to write to me! 🙂

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